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    Bailey Turner


    With Neighbours' new Turner family continuing to settle into Ramsay Street, Digital Spy recently chatted to Calen Mackenzie to hear about his role as the clan's youngest member Bailey.

    Bailey made a confident entrance into Erinsborough on UK screens earlier this month, but has appeared slightly more troubled in recent episodes after a mysterious break-in at Number 32 left him spooked.

    Read on to find out what Calen had to say about all things Bailey!

    How do you feel about joining a show as iconic as Neighbours?
    "I've done quite a few roles on new shows, but to be a part of something which has been going since before you were born and such a huge part of this collective consciousness is really amazing."

    You appeared on the show in a one-episode guest role in 2011. Did that make it less daunting when you joined up as a regular?
    "It was a really brief moment - one scene in fact! I was able to meet Morgan Baker who plays Callum which was great, but no, it didn't really help!"

    Has anyone in particular helped to make you feel welcome on set?
    "The family [the Turners] made me feel welcome. Morgan and Coco [Cherian, who plays Rani] have also made me feel at ease because we're all around the same age."


    © Channel 5
    Bailey with Amber, Lauren and Lou


    How do you describe Bailey and his place in the Turner family?
    "He is the glue. If Dad or Mason can't fix it, Bailey will always try. He is the one who keeps a straight head in the family.

    "Bailey gets on well with his brother and sister, but like most sibling relationships, there is a competitive spirit and just general annoying each other! When it comes to his parents, he loves them equally and he wants the best for them."

    Bailey seemed to immediately like Rani when he joined the Street, but Callum has warned him off! Will Bailey respect Callum's wishes?
    "While it's hard for him because he does like Rani, there is a code I guess that you don't steal another mate's girlfriend and that's very important to Bailey. But it's not easy for him because he likes Rani and he can't switch his feelings on and off."

    Do you share any similarities with Bailey?
    "Yes, I love reading comics and playing video games - society's classic nerd! I do spend a lot of time on the computer so I guess that's where we are the same."

    Would you like to show a more rebellious side to Bailey or do you prefer him the way he is?
    "I definitely would like to character to grow and develop into someone who is not as tame and sensible…"


    © Channel 5
    The Turner family


    How are you expecting the viewers to react to Bailey and the rest of the Turners as they continue to settle in?
    "Well, I'm hoping that they will see the Turners like any normal family - admittedly a heightened dramatic version. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but at the end of the day, they care for each other deeply."

    What can you tell us about your previous acting work? Do you see Neighbours as your big break?
    "Yes, definitely. I originally did a lot of small roles and then last year I did The Time Of Their Lives [for the ABC in Australia] and then Neighbours. It doesn't get much bigger for a young actor."

    Do the older cast members on the show give you much help and advice?
    "Absolutely, all the cast and even the crew are so warm and helpful - Tom Oliver in particular. They can't help you with acting because that's something that you do and work at, but when it comes to getting you settled and knowing what's what, they were just crazy help!"

    Were you familiar with the show before you joined and aware of its popularity in the UK?
    "I have certainly watched the show as a regular viewer - everyone has at some stage - and I'm blown away by how big it is in the UK. We're already receiving fan mail which is fantastic considering we've only just started on air."

    Can you give us any hints on what you're filming at the moment?
    "Well, there is still a lot going on with Rani and Callum, and of course there are quite a few issues with his family which he has been dragged into. There is also an event which lands him in hospital… and I've probably said too much so I better stop now!"

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    Neighbours teen Bailey Turner is horrified later this month as he fears that his sister Amber has reunited with bad boy Robbo Slade.

    Bailey (Calen Mackenzie) gets suspicious after he spots Amber and Robbo together one evening.

    In reality, Amber (Jenna Rosenow) is merely offering some friendly support to Robbo after finding that he is squatting at the old radio station.

    While Amber is reluctant to fall for Robbo's charms again, their conversation looks extremely suspicious to Bailey as he watches from afar.


    Amber meets up with Robbo.
    © Channel 5
    Amber talks to Robbo


    Bailey spies Robbo and Amber together.
    © Channel 5
    Bailey spies Robbo and Amber together.


    Amber and Robbo are caught out.
    © Channel 5
    Amber and Robbo are caught out.


    The next day, Bailey is quick to blab to Lauren and Matt when he spots that Robbo has also been texting Amber.

    Amber eventually admits to her family that she's starting to feel sorry for Robbo despite everything he's done, but is she making a huge mistake?

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    Neighbours teen Bailey Turner falls under the spell of scheming teacher Gem Reeves on UK screens over the next few weeks.

    Gem (Kathryn Beck) starts to develop an inappropriate relationship with Bailey as she enjoys his attention and also needs a loyal ally at the school.

    Digital Spy recently caught up with Calen Mackenzie, who plays Bailey, to hear more about the storyline and his time on Neighbours so far.

    It's now been a year since you started filming at Neighbours. How do you look back on the last 12 months?
    "A lot has changed - mainly just the fact that the nerves about being on set are gone. Naturally when you first join the show, you want people to like you and you want to fit in well. I think I've really settled in well when it comes to castmates and crew. It's also a case of learning how to tackle the scripts, and as an actor I think I've learned heaps in that regard. A lot happens in a year!"

    Which storylines have been your favourites?
    "I thoroughly enjoyed the stories when we first arrived, like the aftermath of the Mount Isa robbery. The story where Bailey slipped and hit his head in the pool after fighting with Callum was great too. It was fantastic to shoot those scenes with the other cast members."

    Now there's another big story as we're going to see Gem really step up her manipulation of Bailey…
    "Yes, after being on the show for a year, this is the storyline I've tackled which has had the most substance. It's the heaviest one we've done for Bailey so far. Gem definitely starts to allude to Bailey that they could be more than just friends. She's letting off signals which Bailey doesn't immediately pick up, but it's definitely not your usual teacher/student dynamic.

    "From our very first scene together, there was a underlying element of Gem giving off those signals. Just before that, Rani came back to Erinsborough and broke up with Bailey, so he's been struggling with that - he has all this love and nobody to give it to! Gem, as a deceptive character, sees this and takes advantage of it. Bailey ends up being madly in love with her."

    Bailey does see Gem's nasty side eventually, though! How does the story progress?
    "The façade that Gem has set up definitely start to fall and the people that she has manipulated turn against her. As much as Bailey is hurt and distraught that Gem has turned on him, he still really cares about her and wants to be there for her. I think you'll see that Bailey is prepared to forgive her."

    What was Kathryn Beck, who plays Gem, like to work with?
    "Kathryn was great and she was always very 'in the moment' when we worked together. When we were doing scenes together, she was always on the ball and really open to changing things up. She'd easily adapt if you changed a line or performed a scene completely differently to how it had been rehearsed. As a person, she was very natural, cool to be around and lovely to work with."

    Bailey and Callum's friendship definitely has lots of ups and downs! Will they get on good terms for a while, or is there more drama ahead?
    "Morgan Baker [who plays Callum] and I have spoken about this a few times! It's constantly up and down. They have periods of being good friends, but then something will always go wrong - it's always a rollercoaster!"

    We know you're good friends with Morgan, so what's it like to film the scenes where your characters are really angry with each other?
    "It is the worst! When it comes to professionalism, they're our worst moments because we will laugh! The more a scene needs to be serious and the more we need to have straight faces, the worse we are and we constantly break out in laughter. It ruins scenes!"

    Would you like Bailey to have a new love interest?
    "I'd really like that to happen. I think Bailey is a sweet kid, but he hasn't had the best of luck. Things were going well with Rani, but that didn't turn out well in the end. It'd be lovely for him to just find somebody nice to be with him and not mess him around, really!"

    Calen Mackenzie as Bailey Turner in Neighbours
    © Channel 5
    Calen Mackenzie as Bailey Turner


    What else is coming next for Bailey?
    "There's a big fallout involving Bailey's mother Lauren Turner. Lauren's been hiding a secret from everyone for a very long time. That comes out further down the line and Bailey gets caught up in it. His natural reaction in these situations is always to try to help, so he gets swept up in it. It's going to be pretty full-on."

    With Tina Bursill joining the show as Lauren's mother, are you looking forward to sharing some scenes with your on-screen grandmother?
    "Absolutely - without a doubt. It's always interesting when they bring in new faces who, in the script, you're supposed to have known for years! You need to create a feeling of familiarity and trust in order to properly convey that relationship, which is always a challenge and really fun. I'm really looking forward to it."

    Are you still studying alongside your Neighbours role?
    "I was studying alongside it and that was pretty much the 50/50 of my life - 50% of going to school and studying, 50% of working on Neighbours and learning lines.

    "I finished Year 11 recently and have decided for the first half of next year, I'm going to focus on Neighbours solely - just because it was becoming near-on impossible to juggle both. I'm definitely going to go back and finish studying, though, because I personally feel you have to. But for now I'm giving Neighbours my full attention."

    With so many experienced actors on set, do you ever seek advice from the older cast members?
    "I would never verbally ask for advice, but I do constantly find myself observing the older cast members - in particular Kate Kendall (Lauren), who I think is an amazing actress. I watch how she does it or how she gets emotional in a crying scene, for example. So I'd never ask outright, but I do catch myself watching and learning that way."

    What are your hobbies and interests outside of the show?
    "I love drawing - next to acting, it's my second major interest. It runs through my family as my dad was an artist and his father used to draw sketches. I do little doodles on set and at school. It's nothing professional - I think it's always going to just be a hobby, but I do thoroughly enjoy it. I also play a lot of video games, if that can count as a hobby!"

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    Neighbours launches a big new storyline for Bailey Turner on UK screens next month as he develops a drinking problem.

    Bailey initially turns to alcohol while under pressure from a school bully named Jayden, but it won't be long until his reliance on booze starts to spiral out of control.

    Digital Spy recently caught up with Calen Mackenzie, who plays Bailey, to hear his thoughts on the issue-based storyline and the other dramas ahead for his character.

    How did you feel about taking on such a serious storyline?
    "I was thrilled. Previously I'd done the Gem storyline which was also quite serious, so to get the chance to do another storyline that is quite deep, dark and emotional was great.

    "It's an unexpected storyline because it's completely out of character for Bailey, but when people are pushed, these things can happen. Lots of things have happened to Bailey since he arrived on Ramsay Street. He's had drama with Mason, Gem and his whole family. A little push is all it takes sometimes."

    How did you prepare for the story?
    "I did my research by speaking to my friends, because some of them have been through issues like this when it comes to drinking and spiralling out of control. It can happen just as much to people that you wouldn't expect it to happen to.

    "The Neighbours producers encourage research whenever you're doing a storyline that you're not entirely familiar with, as that's the only way you can do the best job."

    Were the scenes challenging to play?
    "They were quite challenging because the key to pretending to be drunk, is to be drunk pretending not to be drunk, if that makes sense! When you are under the influence of alcohol, you are trying to appear normal and look not drunk, so that was a strange one - pretending to be drunk while pretending not to be drunk!"

    How does the story start?
    "Everything has been accumulating in Bailey's life, and then a school bully called Jayden starts targeting him. This is the straw that broke the camel's back and Jayden pushes him too far. Jayden gives him the opportunity to start drinking and it pushes Bailey over the edge."

    When Bailey and Jayden start hanging around together, do they become friends or is it just a case of Bailey being scared of him?
    "That's a really good question. I think Bailey fools himself into thinking that it's a friendship, but really he's just being used. It's a case of, 'If you do what I want, you're my friend - if you don't, I'm going to punch you!' So Bailey definitely fears Jayden."

    How do things progress from there?
    "The problem for Bailey gets bigger and bigger, and in the end everyone finds out about it. They realise that this kid needs help and he has a problem."

    Are you sad that Morgan Baker has left his role as Callum?
    "Morgan is my best friend in real life, so to see him go is shattering. I was lucky enough in the first place to get to work with a really cool guy, develop a friendship and then become best friends with him - you don't always get that. You can't just rock up on set and expect to make friends, and definitely not meet a best friend. I was very lucky in that regard so I can't really complain that he's gone, but it is sad.

    "Morgan had been on the show for six years, which is a very large chunk of his childhood. He's focusing on his schoolwork as he wants that foundation - and good on him, as he deserves it."

    Callum is currently the main character that Bailey interacts with, so does Bailey start forming some new friendships?
    "Yes, he will definitely do that. Callum was the staple character in our age group and the person Bailey interacted with the most. Now that he's gone, I think Bailey will take his place and it will continue on from that. Some new kids his age will definitely pop in."

    Does Bailey befriend Libby's son Ben when he pays a visit?
    "Absolutely. Bailey and Ben's scenes involve Jayden, and Ben shows Bailey a side of himself that he didn't realise he had. That awakens in Bailey and their friendship develops out of that."

    How will Bailey feel if Lauren finds her long-lost daughter?
    "I think Bailey would be ecstatic. Most of all he wants his mum to be happy, as he appreciates and respects everything that she's done for the family. He knows she deserves happiness."

    We know that Tina Bursill has been back on set filming more scenes as Lauren's mother Kathy. Is there more drama ahead involving Kathy?
    "Yes! Last time Kathy visited, it wasn't clear-cut and finished - it was all left open. There was heightened emotion and that definitely continues when she returns..."

    You now have a shorter haircut - was that your idea or something the producers wanted?
    "They gave me the opportunity to cut my hair and I said that I wanted it short. We discussed what the best haircut would be and eventually came to the one that I have now! Even now we're still figuring out which direction we want to take it and how to style it, but short is definitely better I think!"

    We'll see Bailey's relationship with Josie run into some trouble soon. Can they get back on track?
    "I think all good things must come to an end! Their story doesn't have a happy ending, I'll say that much!"

    Do you want Bailey to get a new love interest in that case?
    "Yes, I think it'd be good to see him have another relationship similar to what he had with Rani - something that's based on deep emotional contact."

    Are you looking forward to the show's 30th anniversary next year?
    "Absolutely - Neighbours has always been an Australian icon and it's also been very popular over in the UK. To be part of its 30th anniversary is amazing. We haven't heard much about what to expect yet, though - it's a mystery to everyone!"

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    I love Baileys new hair cut - it matures him a little... and I love these scenes, Calen is a very good young actor...

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